Reflection on the Church for the Feast of the Ascension

Back in our seminary, there was a magnificent stone stairway which went up five stories. I don’t like heights, and one night, my friend, Friar John Kramer, who had a very playful sense of humor, was up on the fourth floor near the library with me, right next to that stairway.  He knew I didn’t like...

Easter Faith

In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the Tomb of Christ is marked by a shrine called the “edicule,” the successor to a series of such structures built over the tomb—and rebuilt—since the Emperor Constantine first constructed a huge basilica church and sheltered the tomb under a...

Sailing on the Sea of Galilee

My new year of 2012 began as no other year in my life. I was privileged to join a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, sponsored by the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C. It is an American arm of the Franciscan mission to the holy places — not only in Israel, but elsewhere in the Middle...

Welcoming the New Translation

With the posting of this blog entry on the First Sunday of Advent 2011, the new translation of the Roman Missal is now being used across the United States. Like many pastors, I’ve been busy in the last few weeks talking with people about this big change in the Mass. On Facebook, in workshops, in...

A Pilgrim to Assisi Remembers

St. Francis of Assisi offered inspiration to the Church of his time. That inspiration is still part of our Catholic identity, especially for those who are members of the Franciscan movement. On October 27, his holiness Pope Benedict will share the Franciscan spirit with other religious leaders as they visit...

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